Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101: Washing Diapers

So a few people have asked us about our system of washing cloth diapers. This is pretty standard, I think--I would love comments about how others do it!

We have two wet bags and a diaper pail (one wet bag in the pail at a time). When the diaper is dirty, it is put in the bag in the pail--there is no need to "dunk", rinse off, or dump out dirty diapers when the baby is only eating breastmilk--you can just put the whole diaper and all its contents directly in the laundry. Once the baby starts eating food (or if the baby is formula fed) then it is preferable to rinse off the (poopy) diaper before washing it. We don't have to do this yet though!

When the pail is full we wash them.

The best detergent to use seems to be Rockin Green--we actually haven't been using this, we've been using All Free and Clear, our normal detergent, but among the cloth diapering community this seems to be a big no-no. Most detergents leave a residue on the diapers making them less absorbent. Rockin Green is awesome for NOT doing this, so definitely worth the extra effort to buy. We have ordered our Rockin Green (I think?), so we'll start using that soon.

To wash them:
-First we do a cold soak and prewash, with soap. We put the wet bag into the load with the diapers.
-Then we do a hot wash (with more soap) with a cold rinse.
-Then we do an extra cold rinse.
-Then we dry them in the dryer--though in the summer we might hang them on the line, which keeps them nicer for longer and bleaches them in the sun.

We have to do a load just about every day, but we can skip the occasional day. It honestly takes almost half a day just to complete the whole washing process so we basically have the diapers going in two cycles all the time--a set that we are using and that are dirty, and a set that is being washed/dryed/folded.

So that's the how-to (or at least what we do) on washing cloth diapers. Not too hard but the extra laundry is definitely noticeable.

I'm going to do a separate post (sometime) on the different kinds of diapers that we have and pros and cons of each.


Liz said...

I use Washing Greens by Babee Greens. It's a local company, so I can buy it in town.

For washing:
cold wash and rinse with detergent
hot wash cold rinse no detergent
cold rinse
dry on low heat

Ella said...

We do the same washing regimen you guys do. And, we also use All Free & Clear (liquid), and have never had a problem! I think it's a fine CD soap. I have heard good things about Rockin' Green, so I might pick some up just to try it out and see if it's truly that much better...

Kelly said...

I started making my own laundry soap following this recipe http://frugallygreen.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-soap.html

Our clothes are just as clean as with all free and clear, but it is so much cheaper to make your own. I learned about it from a friend who sells cloth diapers and recommended it.

april said...

This is a good site for knowing which detergents are good to use. They have all been tested: http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html

Beth said...

We do a cold rinse followed by a hot wash w/ ECOS and then a cold rinse. No extra rinses. It seems to work, but we do have a lot of stains. Some nice sunny day I'll have to put them out as that really helps!

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